Tag Archives: Video

Debunked: Floating City Above China | Metabunk

Have you seen the YouTube video of the impossibly large city floating above the fog in the city of Foshan, Guangdong province, China?

Floating City China

As with most phenomenon there is a very logical explanation and the good people over at MetaBunk.org have the explanation.

Click on over to Metabunk to find out how this illusion was achieved! 🙂

Mason I. Bilderberg

Neurotology Music Video

By Saturday Night Live via YouTube

Followers of Neurotology star in a music video that sings the religion’s praises in this Scientology parody.

For lyrics and more information: Saturday Night Live’s genius spoof of Scientology: Lyrics and images (Tony Ortega)

Lightning Strikes Twice . . . or not.

quick note_150pxBefore i forget …

I was shown this video today and was asked to give my input.

The video purports to show a person being struck by lightning not just once, but twice! … and the person walks away. Bad karma or something else?

The first strike occurs about 25 seconds into the video. Take a look, my conclusion below.

What do you think? I took a frame by frame look at the video and declared it a fake. Why? Below are two frames from the video. The frame on the left is the frame just before the lightning strike. Outlined in yellow are the shadows of the cars. The frame on the right is the first lightning strike.

Note the shadows on the left continue to appear in the frame on the right when the lightning is allegedly striking this person. If you look REALLY close you’ll see many other shadows seen on the left (i.e. on the trees) are seen in the frames where there is lightning. Not gonna happen folks. That lightning bolt would have obliterated all those shadows that appear on the left.

Lightning Strike

My guess is, it’s either a staged fake or this a drunk person stumbling on a surveillance  camera and somebody had some fun with the footage.

🙂

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

A Convoy of Conspiracies!

By Mason I. Bilderberg

quick note_150pxBefore i forget …

This is a video i recently saw on a facebook webpage.

The video shows a large convoy of tractor trailer trucks traveling on Virginia’s Interstate 64 being escorted by State Troopers. Take a look:

As i watched the video i couldn’t think of why these trucks would be driving in such a formation (I’ve included the answer at the bottom of this post). I didn’t think much of it, really. Most people didn’t think much of it. That’s because when most people don’t know who, what, where, why or when, they simply say “I don’t know.” But not conspiracists …

When confronted with an unknown, conspiracists immediately fill their information void with something they want to believe (usually some kind of apocalyptic plan by lizard people to starve, kill, destroy and otherwise control earth people). It’s this ability by conspiracists to build a confirmation bias echo chamber out of absolutely nothing that i find really, really entertaining.

So now, for your entertainment, here are just a few of the comments i found associated with this video. Enjoy the lunacy.

FB quotes 03

So what is reality? Why were these trucks being escorted down a highway in Virginia? Read the government’s “cover story” here courtesy snopes.com.

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

Gang Stalking YouTube Videos: The Most Serious Conspiracy Theory

paranoia 737_167pxBy Andrew Whalen via iDigitalTimes

Gang stalking is a highly coordinated operation, usually by a counterintelligence entity, to intimidate dissenters through a mob of watchers, harassers, prank callers, hackers, and irritants. To be gang stalked is to suspect everyone, to feel eyes fall upon you and not be sure whether it’s just another person in the grocery aisle or an agent paid to induce that exact feeling of uncertainty in your heart. And while gang stalking can be coordinated by anyone, from a personal enemy to the Mafia, the coordination tactics enabled by modern communication technologies and sheer computing power is most available to large corporations and governmental entities.

Gang stalking is also nonsense.

Gang Stalking Youtube Video – Window Into Delusion

Watch this Youtube video and you’ll immediately understand why:

The transparent paranoia in this Youtube video is evident to all but the gang stalking initiate.

Gang stalking, as experienced by most of its victims, is delusional. It’s the most serious conspiracy theory not because it reflects reality, but because gang stalking is the bridge between conspiracy theorizing as a hobby, and conspiracy theorizing as an all-consuming mental illness.

Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories

paranoid illuminati_250pxPeople who believe that H1N1 Swine Flu was created by the miltary, that 9/11 was a Mossad operation, that world leaders worship owl demons at a summer retreat, or believe any of the endless permutations of conspiracy theory, are likely not mentally ill. My preferred theory is that they’re just incredibly dumb, but the current research into conspiracy theory ideation doesn’t really back that up either. Rather, conspiracy theorists are sane people, of normal intelligence, who have become trapped in a self-reinforcing belief system. It’s a convenient trick: anyone who can offer up evidence against the conspiracy theory is an agent of the conspiracy theory–a shill–sent to deceive you.

There are many motivations for believing in a conspiracy theory.

MORE – – –

Scientology’s Organizational Madness

Chris Shelton explains why Scientology is in a management death spiral

Introduction by Mason i. Bilderberg (MIB)

scientology volcanoctopus_190pxScientology is one of those subjects i enjoy researching. Cults in general fascinate me because they provide insights into human nature and how people can be easily manipulated to act contrary to their own best interests.

Below is a video by Chris Shelton, a former Scientology Sea Org worker who left the church only recently.

He gives a great history of Scientology’s organizational structure and why it’s doomed to failure. I found it interesting because it provides an outline of Scientology’s organizational structure that i didn’t understand before.

It’s 39 minutes long. It may not be for everybody. But if you’re fascinated by this crumbling cult of greed like i am, i think you’ll like the insights provided in this video.

Enjoy 🙂

MIB


Description by Chris Shelton via YouTube:

In this video, I explain the unique and unworkable organizational structure behind Scientology and how it creates more trouble than it’s worth. But worse than that, control of the entire movement was subverted decades ago by David Miscavige and in this video I show exactly how that occurred. Chris Shelton

Description by Tony Ortega (The Underground Bunker):

Chris_Shelton-300x179_225pxWe’ve really enjoyed the explanatory videos put together by Chris Shelton, a former Scientology Sea Org worker who left the church only recently.

We’re happy to premiere his newest effort, a lengthy but fascinating look at Scientology’s management — how it’s supposed to work, and why it isn’t.

There’s some great history here, and perhaps the clearest, most easy to understand telling of how David Miscavige took over the Church of Scientology in the 1980s.

It seems to us that Chris has put together something that not only helps outsiders understand Scientology’s byzantine layers of management, but also helps the people still inside that structure understand why things are going so badly.

As he says early in the film, “By the end of this video you will understand more about how Scientology operates than people who are in it.”

He’s sure right about that. Set aside some time, and let Chris Shelton explain why Scientology is doomed…

Continue Reading – – –

Solar Roadways, a VERY expensive joke?

Intro by Mason. I. Bilderberg

TSolar Freakin’ Roadways_225pxhis is the third video in the Solar Roadways series. If you’re not familiar with this topic, you might want to two previous videos:

  1. Solar FREAKIN Roadways, are they real?, and
  2. Solar Roadways, IMPORTANT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS!

If you want some background information, click one of the links above. Otherwise, enjoy 🙂

MIB


Via YouTube.

From the video description:

So the solar roadways has a page up to ‘answer’ its critics.
http://solarroadways.com/clearingthef…

Previously I had suspected that they have no technical expertise, now Im sure.

They claim that asphalt is softer than glass.
They claim LEDs will be fine for roads because of powerhungry LED billboards or LED traffic lights that work in the shade.

People gave them over 2 million dollars for this. You really have to laugh or cry at this.

This video was supported by donations of viewers through Patreon:
http://www.patreon.com/Thunderf00t

Solar Roadways, IMPORTANT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS!

Intro by Mason. I. Bilderberg:

This video is a followup to the video we featured here on iLLuMiNuTTi.com in a story titled “Solar FREAKIN Roadways, are they real?” and this followup video is just as enjoyable as the first.

If you want some background information, click the link above. Otherwise, enjoy 🙂

MIB


Via YouTube

From the video description:

Ball park numbers: 25 000 sq miles = 90 bn square meters.

At about 4 tiles per m2, thats 240 billion tiles.

At 50 LEDs each, thats 12 trillion LEDS.

These need to be light up ALL the time you want road markings!

300 LEDs takes about 60 Watts.

Cheap electricity is about 0.06 dollars per kW Hr

So to run 300 LEDs for 1 hr coast about half a cent.

To run 12 trillion LEDs for 1hr costs about 150 million dollars!
4 billion dollars per day,
1.4 trillion dollars per year.

They will take more power just to run the LEDs than will be generated by the road!!!
And thats not including the cost of building the infrastructure, or the fact that the LED probably will need to be replaced about every 5 years.

This video was supported through Patreon:
http://www.patreon.com/Thunderf00t

Solar FREAKIN Roadways, are they real?

Intro by Mason. I. Bilderberg

Solar Freakin’ Roadways_225pxIf you’re not familiar with the Solar Roadways discussion, you may wish to peruse our last article on this topic titled “Solar Freakin’ Roadways“.

Or i’ll just give you the basics: There is an Indigogo fundraising campaign called Solar Roadways. There is a video for the campaign. The campaign has raised more than $1.7 million.

Problem is, many people are starting to question the legitimacy of the campaign. Why? Watch the video below.

I’m not the type to sit through lengthy videos (this video is almost 29 minutes long), but this one was an exception. I really enjoyed the tear down. I think you will too.

Enjoy 🙂

MIB


Via YouTube

From the video description:

Solar FREAKIN roadways is a nice idea, but then again is a pogostick that can hop to the moon as a cheap, reusable trans-orbital vehicle.

Is it plausible though. Well it basically proposes the union of 3 or 4 technologies. LED lights, solar panels, and glass roads.

Glass really isn’t a feasible material to make roads out of.

  1. its too expensive. Just coating the US road system with roads would cost many times the federal budget.
  2. Its too soft. Even with a textured surface for traction, it will wear away too quickly. Dirt on roads is basically small rocks, which are generally much harder than glass. Imagine taking a handful of dirt and rubbing it a window. Now imagine doing that with the wheels of a 20 ton tractor/trailer.
  3. I have doubts about the physical properties of the glass to take the load and mechanical heat stress required of a road making material.

Solar panels under the road is a bad idea from the start. If they are under the roads, they are hard to maintain. They will have reduced light from parked cars etc. They are fragile. Not really congenial to the conditions you are likely to get on a road. In many ways building a shed over the road, or just having solar panels by the side of the road is a far better idea. However the power transport really isnt practical. One of the most efficient ways to transport electricity around is as high voltage AC. However to build those lines would probably double the cost of any construction. To bury the cables is even more expensive.

LEDs for variable road marking have been partially implemented. They are usually only cost effective in dynamic traffic management systems. For most roads its utterly pointless as the road markings almost never need to be altered. These LED are usually not easy to see (especially in full daylight when the solar panels are meant to be generating power).

However solar powered roadways has generated well over a million dollars for Julie and Scott Brusaw (a therapist and an engineer).

I’m still on the fence as to if they are just delusional dreamers or (now millionaire) con artists. A lot of this looks like just direct ‘what if’ daydreaming, but then you get the part of the promotional video where they are shoveling ground up coloured glass into a wheelbarrow, while narrating that they use as many recycled materials as possible in this project. It’s very difficult to not see that as a direct lie. They must know full well that they did not use any of that material in the construction of their glass tiles.

Many thanks to all those who supported this video through Patreon:
http://www.patreon.com/Thunderf00t

Ghost hunters to investigate Gilford store surveillance video

I certainly don’t believe in ghosts, but this is one of the better ghost videos/stories i’ve seen in a while. I’ve gone through the video frame by frame to try and discover how this happened, but the video quality is just too poor to analyze.

Leave any thoughts in the comments section.

🙂

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)


By via WMUR TV.

Surveillance video from a store in Gilford has many people spooked.

The video from Ellacoya Country Store in Gilford depicts what looks a glass object flying off a counter and breaking with no one around.

A store employee is then seen rushing back into the room to see what happened.

The video was shared on the Ellacoya Barn & Grille Facebook page, with the simple description, “Haunted much?”

So, was it a ghost or something paranormal? The store commented on the Facebook post, saying ghost hunters will investigate the place soon.


[END]

On FaceBook

Homeopathic Emergency Department


On YouTube

▶ Debunking 9/11 conspiracy theorists part 1 of 7 – Free fall and how the towers collapsed

This is a seven (7) part series by Myles Power debunking the 9/11 conspiracy theory.

This is part 1 – Free fall and how the towers collapsed – in the YouTube playlist.

If you have the time, Myles is worth watching.

Myles Power confronts 9/11 truthers to see if their claims can stand up. In this video he discusses the World Trade Center’s Design to withstand airplane impacts, fuel or oxygen-starved fires, how the World Trade Center’s Collapse, the twin towers falling at free fall speed and the damage to the lobbies.

Basic maths fail
I said if you triple the speed, you get eight times the energy. That should be nine times!

This is Not a Conspiracy Theory (Part 1) – YouTube

I’m curious to know what everybody thinks of this new series being released on the web. I’ve watched this first part and i’m not sure i’m clear on where it’s going.

If it looks worthwhile i will pay for future installments just to post them here on iLLumiNuTTi.com for all of us to watch.

Your thoughts? Leave a comment 🙂

Mason (MIB)


This is Not a Conspiracy Theory (Part 1) – YouTube.

On The Web: This is Not a Conspiracy Theory

Watershed! BBC Now Sees Sun Developing Into A Potent 21st Century Climate Factor As A Real Possibility!

Sleeping-Sun-on-cloudy-pillowBy P Gosselin via NoTricksZone

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, but surely, the once diehard the-science-is-settled mainstream media are conceding that the climate debate isn’t over after all – and likely not by a long shot. And if you pay attention, you can see them quietly opening that back door for the quick exit.

The cracking started long ago, and now chips and pieces of the global warming science are starting to fall on the floor around us.

Earlier today the BBC featured a short report “Has the Sun gone to sleep?”

This report looks at the implications of a protracted quiet solar period, potentially lasting decades. Global cooling is turning out to be a real possibility, now even at the BBC!

Today we know a huge body of historical observations shows there is a pronounced relationship between cold winters in Europe and low solar activity. Moreover there’s a huge body of persuasive evidence, comprising mainly proxy datasets, that show the phenomenon is not regional, but global. As much as the BBC tries to play that down, the video holds a couple of big surprises.

Mirrors the Maunder Minimum!

The BBC starts by telling its viewers that the current solar maximum “is eerily quiet“. Solar physicist Professor Richard Harrison says the sun hasn’t been this quiet in 100 years and that the current activity mirrors the activity of the 17th century – the Maunder Minimum, the time of the dreadful Little Ice Age. What we have here is the BBC telling viewers to associate low solar activity with potential cold.

At the 3-minute mark, the BBC reporter asks the key question: “Does a decline in solar activity mean plunging temperatures for decades to come?” For an answer the BBC interviews three scientists.

The Maunder Minimum (Little Ice Age)

The Maunder Minimum (Little Ice Age)

Could impact the climate – “not fully understood”

Scientist Dr Lucie Green actually thinks that low solar activity could affect the climate, but she isn’t sure “to what extent“, and then even points out that varying amounts of solar radiation impact the globe’s upper atmosphere and that this is something scientists “don’t fully understand“. Therefore, don’t rule anything out.

“Fastest solar decline in 10,000 years”!

At the 4:17 mark, Mike Lockwood says we are witnessing the fastest decline in 10,000 years. He then claims that there’s a close to 20% chance that we may be actually entering a Maunder-like minimum. As one of the scientists who is more than 95% sure that man is now causing the climate change, 20% seems to be a very high figure and so we might suspect Lockwood’s true probability figure to be much higher than 20%.

Note how Lockwood does his best to portray solar impacts on climate as being regional phenomena, affecting the Jet Stream and Europe’s climate, but not the global mean climate. Lockwood here is not being completely forthcoming.

Sun now on par with human activity?

MORE – – –

RELATED: BBC’s six-year cover-up of secret ‘green propaganda’ training for top executives | Mail Online

ALSO SEE: Video – Has the Sun gone to sleep?.

10 Strange Tales About Paranormal Research

By Pauli Poisuo via Listverse

Everyone likes a good paranormal tale. However, often the really interesting stories are not about ghosts and UFOs—they’re about the people who run after them with a notebook in hand.

The world is full of tireless paranormal researchers who spend countless hours in a never-ending attempt to understand the incomprehensible and find the truth behind the legends. These are their stories.

10 • William Hope And Spirit Photography

Williamhopehoax5_250pxWilliam Hope (1866-1936) was a famous British medium and paranormal researcher. He gained fame with his amazing “spirit photography,” a seemingly uncanny ability to capture the images of ghosts and spirits on camera. Although this technology is commonplace today (and, more often than not, known as “photoshopping”), Hope was the first man to produce these type of images. As such, his popularity as a medium exploded.

Hope took many precautions with the plate cameras he used in order to rule out any possibility of fraud. However, this itself turned out to be a scam. In reality, the complicated rules he claimed to follow were little more than smoke and mirrors. Hope’s pictures were actually the product of skillful photo manipulation and advanced superimposing techniques. Still, although we can’t respect him as the herald of the supernatural world he liked to present himself as, we can at least give him a nod for his work as a pioneering photography artist.

9 • Independent Investigations Group

The Independent Investigations Group—or IIG for short—is a famous paranormal research organization that was founded in Hollywood, California in 2000, but now operates across America. They’re the largest and best known group of their kind in the US, and their founder, Jim Underdown, is a common sight at panels and discussions around the country.

IIC takes a decidedly skeptical stance in its investigations, but it always strives to give its subjects a fair chance to prove their mystical powers. They have an ongoing offer to pay a large cash prize to anyone who can demonstrate scientifically verifiable paranormal abilities. The sum was originally $50,000, but was recently bumped up to $100,000, possibly thanks to their collaboration with the James Randi Foundation, another famous skeptic organization.

Be warned, though: It’s not easy money. The video above shows the IIC investigating Anita Ikonen, who had claimed to have the power of “medical dowsing” (in this case, telling if someone is missing an internal organ).

It didn’t go well for her.

8 • EMF Meters

profi-emf-meter-e1389904839537_250px

Photo credit: paranormalghost.com

EMF (electromagnetic field) meters are one of the most common tools in the working kit of a ghost hunter. There is some confusion as to why they are so important. Some say it’s because ghosts actually emit electromagnetic radiation, others claim they merely disturb the area’s existing electromagnetic field. It doesn’t really matter which of the theories is true—either way, the ghost hunting community often accepts the idea that ghosts and other spirits can be detected with an EMF meter.

Obviously, the use of the device presents many problems. No one really knows how to interpret the readings—whether or not ghosts are right behind them. Certain researchers have even speculated that EMF anomalies might actually cause hauntings, rather than the other way around.

Some of the more enthusiastic paranormal researchers find their way around the problem by creating complicated sets of fine-tuning instructions for their EMF meters. However, it’s pretty safe to assume that most researchers just carry their meters around and if the needle starts moving, grab their cameras and hope for the best.

7 • Viktor Grebennikov

460495603_250pxViktor Grebennikov was a Soviet scientist and naturalist with a very strange interest in supernatural—or, rather, supremely natural—methods of transport. Grebennikov’s day job was as an entymologist (insect researcher), but he liked to dabble in the paranormal. Before his death in 2001, he had amassed a large amount of research on the art of levitation, and even claimed to have built a platform able to levitate a fully-grown man.

Grebennikov’s alleged levitation techniques were based on a specific, arcane geometrical structure he claimed he had built from insect parts. This bug machine was supposedly able to lift him for over 305 meters (1,000 ft) and could easily reach speeds of over 25 kilometers (15.5 mi) per minute. He was protected from these high speeds by an energy grid all around him.

Well, that’s his story anyway. When you actually look at the video material he left behind, it looks a lot like the few bug parts he’s able to move without touching them only do so because he’s creating static electricity by rubbing the surface under them.

6 • Ovilus

OvilusX3-1_250px

Photo credit: ghostoutlet.com

The Ovilus is a “ghost box” that has gained notoriety among paranormal investigators in recent years. It’s essentially the ghost hunter’s equivalent of a text-to-speech program. The Ovilus detects the subtle changes ghosts, demons, and other incorporeal entities make in their surroundings, and converts these messages into spoken words. It’s a dowsing rod, EMF meter, and a recording device, all in one machine. Ovilus III, the most recent model, is said to have a vocabulary of 2,000 words, along with a thermal flashlight, multiple operating modes, a recording function, and other neat extras.

As amazing as the Ovilus would be if it really worked, at least one reviewer is certain that the product is actually a fraud. Although it does have all the sensors and functions that it claims to, they do nothing to detect—let alone communicate with—ghosts. The Ovilus merely scans your environment and, when the conditions are right, the machine gives you a preset speech response from its memory.

MORE – – –

Five Stupid Things About the Mark of the Beast

WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE

🙂

▶ Five Stupid Things About the Mark of the Beast – YouTube.

Are you one of those who is eager for the End Time to begin, so you can get raptured away and watch God pour out his wrath on the unrighteous from the catered sky box of Heaven? If not, you probably agree with me that the whole Mark of the Beast thing is pretty stupid. Here are five reasons why.

Fukushima “Death Cloud” Kills hundreds on US Warship

H/T: (Skeptic Wars)

Video via Thunderf00t – YouTube.

Recently it has been widely covered in the media that ~70 members of the US 7th fleet are suing TEPCO (the company responsible for the Fukushima for THREE BILLION DOLLARS.

On paper they claim all sorts of cancer, however I can find no interview of anyone with cancer. Further the lawsuit doesn’t say what the claims are for. What I do find is interview after interview of people describing non-quantifiable symptoms that are wholly inconsistent with radiation poisoning.

The thing that bugs me the most here is radiation is being sold as the ‘invisible boogey man’ that causes all the ills that you cannot otherwise explain.

Sure radiation can cause some serious problems, but then again so can asbestos. But this does not mean you can blame any unaccounted for maladies on asbestos or radiation!

In Africa when anything goes wrong (crop failures etc), there are those only too happy to blame witches. The only thing different here is the boogey man is radiation.

The Salinas Crop Circle

TheTruthIsNotThere_04_600px
Introduction by Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

Calling all woomasters, please tell us, what does it mean?

Calling all woomasters, please tell us, what does it all mean?

You might remember the crop circle that suddenly appeared 11 miles southeast of Salinas, California on or about December 28, 2013. As usual, every UFOlogist and woomaster went nuts speculating on the deeper meaning of this symbol – especially as it might pertain to the new year and some kind of cataclysmic event or some kind of awakening. (Woomeisters always predict doom and gloom or some kind of awakening. It’s in their handbook.)

According to one “expert”, the Salinas Crop Circle:

«… contains three coded messages according to renowned crop circle researcher, Dr Horace Drew. According to Dr Drew, a retired molecular biologist who worked at Caltech and Australia’s CSIRO, one of the coded messages was to be vigilant about an upcoming astronomical event. The next message referred to a date in the near future when an astronomical event is to occur by July 8, 2014. The third and most startling message was that comet ISON was a space transportation system. Taken in their entirety, the three messages appear to be encouraging people to watch the skies for an upcoming astronomical event featuring remnants of ISON that will in fact be an extraterrestrial event of some kind.» (source)

You have to love it when an appeal to authority (a retired molecular biologist who worked at Caltech and Australia’s CSIRO) goes horribly wrong.

Another crop researcher Paul Jacobs, who began investigating the Salinas crop circle:

«No one in the area has made claim to it and the locals had no knowledge of it or its construction. I estimate it would have taken three men working in daylight conditions doing 9-hour shifts for nearly 9 days to complete this pattern. My gut feeling is we have an important event on our hands here.» (source)

Even KSBW Action News 8 wasted airtime deciphering this “mystery”:

So, is the truth out there? If so, where is it?

Well Fox Mulder, the truth is not out there. The truth is right here, on earth … the crop circle was created by the aliens at Nvidia.

«In case you’re not a gamer and don’t know what Nvidia is, the company is headquartered in Santa Clara and pioneers visual computing — the art and science of computer graphics. The crop circle was drawn in the shape of Nvidia’s 192-core super chip, called Tegra K1, and the artists said it was challenging to create.

«Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang made his confession Sunday night in Las Vegas at International CES, the technology industry’s annual gadget show. While news of the crop circles spread as far as Mongolia in central Asia, Huang credited KSBW reporter Michelle Imperato with “cracking the code.”» (source)

Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang discussing the Salinas Crop Circle:

There you have it. Enjoy the following article 🙂

MIB


steven_novellaby via NeuroLogica Blog

I can’t resist this excellent example of the human capacity for ad-hoc reasoning and pattern recognition. The Salinas Crop Circle was discovered in late December, and instantly became famous in the crop circle world. It is an example of a complex design, that begs to be interpreted.

IMG_4798_250pxCrop circle believers – those who think the designs that are often found drawn in various crops around the world (curiously following cultural lines) are the product of aliens trying to communicate in their abstruse way with humans, like to find meaning in the crop circles. This becomes an exercise in pattern recognition, as they are often trying to find meaning where none exists.

Here is one example. The author, assuming the crop circle is an alien communication, comes up with an elaborate interpretation. He believes it refers to comet ISON, which recently burned up on its journey around the sun. This itself is a good example of “retrodicting.” I would be more impressed if a crop circle predicted something yet to be discovered.

The author interprets that middle square section with dots as braille and comes up with the number 192. It turns out, this is a correct interpretation (more below). He writes:

Its first inner code shows a brief message in Braille saying “192-192-2-192-1-192-192”. This may be a symbolic reference to the British search engine “192.com” (see http://www.192.com). Its implication might be that “the blind will see, and those who search will find”

He tells us 192 is a mystical number that comes up frequently in crop circles.  He also interprets some damage to the crops as a comet, the circles around the outer edge as either planets or at marketing the numbers on a clock, and:

crop circles cause_250pxIts third intermediate code involves a series of alphabetic characters in Morse code. They seem to read: “E-T B I-S-O-N S-T-S One interpretation of this cryptic message might be: “E T B(e)” or “extra-terrestrials exist”. Then “I-S-O-N (comet)” is an “S-T-S (space transportation system)” like for the NASA space shuttles.

What is interesting is how compelling it seems to us when we can find patterns, especially complex ones. We tend to react as if the fact that we can find a pattern means that it is real. We inherently lack an intuitive understanding of the power of data mining. In other words – we fail to appreciate the possible number of patterns that we can see when we use open-ended criteria. There are countless possible patterns, and the fact that we hit upon one or more means nothing – except that we are good at finding patterns and connections.

The Reveal

This is one of those uncommon cases where we have a definitive answer in the end, which is what makes it such a powerful example. The crop circle was actually commissioned by NVIDIA as a promotional stunt for their new mobile graphics chip. Here is a video of the making of the crop circle:

True believers might try to deny this evidence by saying it occurred after the fact as a distraction, but that is simply not possible. There would not have been time to fake this video, and to come up with an alternate interpretation of the design that so clearly matches NVIDIA’s new chip.

For example, the 192 in braille is accurate, but the 192 refers to the number of processors in the chip. There is a reason why 192 might crop up frequently in the context of computers – because it is 64 x 3, and 64 is a multiple of 8. Because of how computers are built, you will notice that from kilobytes to terabytes, hard drives, flash drives, RAM, etc. all come in such multiples – 64, 128, 256, 512, etc.

alien603_250pxIt’s interesting that crop circle believers have come to believe that the gray aliens like to communicate in braille. Apparently, so do human crop circle artists.

Watch the video for the full explanation of the meaning in  the crop circle. And then see how clever people can be in coming up with alternate interpretations. I guess this is a post-modern approach to crop circles as a narrative form.

On that point – also pay attention to the words of the crop circle artists interviewed in the NVIDIA video. They say, essentially, that part of their art form is creating the crop circles in the context of mystery. It is a collaboration with the crop circle believers, who provide the “other worldly” context and interpretation of their art.

Another artist also says that complex mathematical designs, the ones that look as if they have really complex relationships, are actually the easiest to lay out and create.

This always reminds me of my personal encounter with a crop circle believer who challenged me by saying, “how can they create perfect circles? That’s impossible.” I then introduced her to the concept of a compass, the crop circle equivalent of which is a stake and a rope.

Simple techniques can create mathematical perfection and complexity. That is sort-of the nature of math and geometry, which is all about relationships. These relationships create countless patterns, and believers can plumb the depths of those patterns to their endless satisfaction.


[END]

Dragon Video

steven_novellaby Steven Novella via Skepticblog

These make for light-hearted posts, but occasionally it’s fun to deconstruct viral videos purporting to show something fantastical on the internet. Most such videos are one of the big three – ghosts, UFOs or Bigfoot (or some other cryptozoological creature).

dragon_250pxThe current video is in the cryptozoological category – a video purporting to show a dragon flying through the skies of Truro England.

Obviously the prior-probability here is vanishingly small, and so it would take a very compelling video to have any chance of being taken seriously, and this video does not come close. Before I take a close look at the video itself, let’s explore the plausibility of the claim.

Dragons are gigantic flying predators, at least in their current Western cultural image. Such creatures if they existed would be voracious. Flying is a high-energy activity and animals pay for the benefits of flight by needing to eat incredible amounts of calories. Bald eagles, for example, eat about 10% of their body weight per day. If we extrapolate that to a dragon, even if light for its size so it can fly, would require hundreds of pounds of food per day.

Each dragon would require a large hunting territory. If there is even a minimal breeding population of dragons, they would frequently be seen in the skies hunting for prey or carrion. Saying they live underground or are stealthy hunters, first is an argument from ignorance to explain a lack of evidence. green_dragon-20112027Further, it is not plausible such creatures could survive under ground (and why would they fly), and you can only be so stealthy when you are that size.

There are also the usual objective to cryptozoological creatures – why are there no specimens of such creatures, no bones, no carcasses, no nests, scat, or remains of their eating? We can invent a special reason why each bit of evidence is lacking, but Occam favors the conclusion that these creatures just don’t exist.

We also have the historical record of dragons, meaning their existence in culture, as a guide. We can clearly see the image of dragons evolve over time, going in different directions in different cultures. Real creatures have a more stable representation in art over time – the artistic style may evolve, but a lion is always a lion. (Here, of course, I am talking about historical time frames of hundreds of years, not evolutionary time scales.)

The Video

It is reasonable to conclude from existing evidence that dragons probably do not exist (as cool as it would be if they did), but let’s take a look at the video with an open, but critical, mind.

MORE . . . (video) . . .

No, This Isn’t a UFO — It’s Eerie Footage of One of the Government’s Newest Weapons

By via TheBlaze.com

One feature that makes Lockheed Martin’s F-35B different than other fighter jets is its ability to land on an aircraft carrier without requiring a hook to prevent it from sailing right off the end into the ocean.

The F-35B recently completed its first vertical landing at night on the USS Wasp. When visualized through a night vision lens, the F-35B looked just like what you might expect of a Hollywood-stylized UFO.

The test performed by a Marine pilot took place August 14, according to Lockheed. In 2011, the F-35B conducted its first vertical carrier landing in daylight. The aircraft is designed to go Mach 1.6, which is about 1,200 miles per hour.

The government expects to spend about a trillion dollars on the F-35 program in general over the next 50 years. The project has been criticized for being over-budget, delayed and even having some visibility issues from a pilot’s perspective.


[END] TheBlaze.com

7 Reasons why Conspiracy Theorists get their videos and pages removed from Youtube

Via The Soap Box

conspiracies06There are lots and lots of conspiracy theory videos on Youtube (and I mean a lot of them). These videos can range from being interesting to disturbing on multiple levels (being either because of the content in it, or the kind of conspiracy theory that is being talked about, or the fact that people can believe something so utterly ridiculous) and sometimes these videos end up getting deleted (and even whole pages).

Usually when a conspiracy theorist’s video or page gets deleted they’ll claim that (insert group here) are the ones whom either deleted the video or their page.

The reality is that this is never really the case, and that in fact there is usually some real, legitimate reasons why conspiracy theorists actually get their videos and pages removed from Youtube:

7. It contains copyrighted materials.

copyright fbi_250pxProbably one of the most common reasons why a video (or an entire page) gets removed from Youtube (and not just for conspiracy theorists, but anyone really, including skeptics) is because it contains a certain amount, or a certain type of copyrighted material that does not fall under the fair use laws, and thus is subjected to a DMCA complaint by either a single individual, or an entire group or business.

The recipient of the DMCA complaint does have a chance to get whatever material that was removed restored [example], but more often times then not they won’t do this, either because it makes them look like the victim of some dark forces trying to hide the “truth”, or out real of fear that if they do so then they might “disappear” after they give out the contact information that Youtube requires to begin the process of whether or not the video or page gets restored.

Of course there are those that say “screw these people, I’m putting that video back up.”

6. The video contains hate speech.

hate speech_250pxBecause many conspiracy theories have antisemitic undertones to them (or are blatantly antisemitic) it should be no surprise that some conspiracy theorists are antisemitic themselves, and are bigoted towards other groups as well. It should also come as no surprise that sometimes conspiracy theorists post videos that are blatantly bigoted and targets specific groups of people as well (Jewish people mainly, but other groups such as African Americans and Homosexuals as well) and contains language that can be best described as hate speech.

While hate speech is not actually illegal in the United States (although some kinds is legally questionable) Youtube does have a anti-hate speech policy, and will remove a video if enough complaints are launched (although sometimes this doesn’t always happen).

5. The video encourages violence and/or other illegal activity.

parental_advisory_250pxBecause certain conspiracy theorists believe that the government is preparing to throw certain citizens into concentration camps (or kill them) some conspiracy theorists may create videos encouraging their viewers to violently resist anyone who tries to arrest them. Other times these videos might even encourage the viewers to go out and commit acts of anti-government violence, or show you how to make something illegal, like a bomb.

Other videos might also encourage other types of destructive crimes as well, like vandalism. An example of this would be someone in the anti-GMO movement encouraging people to burn farm fields containing GMO crops.

MORE . . .

Look-Alike UFOs Videotaped Over Missouri And Arizona (VIDEO)

FBI Alien Ufos

By via The huffington Post

Whatever it was over the skies of Tucson, Ariz. and Kansas City, Mo., eyewitnesses in both cities agree — it was quite a show.

ufo 835_200pxUnusual displays of lights were reported in both cities on Saturday night, giving rise to UFO chatter.

According to one eyewitness, identified as Cbazz on YouTube: “My family and I witnessed these strange amber lights in Tucson on our way home from dinner. There were seven or eight of them crossing the sky, some solo and others in pairs flying very, very close together.

Watch the UFOs videotaped over Tucson.

“Living in this part of the country, we often hear fighter jets from the Air Force base, but we are used to that and it is always recognizable and very loud,” Cbazz wrote.

“These objects we saw tonight were silent and moving across the sky very fast….Not sure what we were seeing, but I never really believed in this sort of thing until tonight. Glad I had my phone to record.”

Several eyewitnesses saw and videotaped similar objects in the sky — but this time, they were flying over Kansas City, Mo.

Watch the Kansas City UFOs here.

“Not for sure what they are, but I got several videos of them and pics. Looks like a UFO fleet!?” wrote YouTube poster jemnich1, who was contacted by another witness, GoGraveside, who sent this message on YouTube: “I really hope you get to investigate this incident. I was in the same vicinity and recorded the same lights on my cell phone. There were 3 additional passengers in my vehicle at the time who witnessed the ‘lights’ as well.”

So, what were these folks looking at from different parts of the country? Or does it just get buried in those numerous reports that are never adequately explained?

“In my opinion both videos are definitely . . .

. . . MORE . . .

Vaccines & Autism: Controversy Persists, But Why?

Cara Santa Maria_80pxBy via The Huffington Post

The vaccine-autism controversy has been brewing ever since Andrew Wakefield published his infamous 1998 paper in The Lancet. Fourteen years later, the study has been retracted and scientists have had no luck finding a legitimate link between childhood vaccinations and autism. Yet, the debate rages on.

Why does over 20 percent of the population still think that vaccines cause autism? And what happens when parents act on their fears, refusing to inoculate their own children against dangerous diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella?

To learn more, I spoke with Seth Mnookin, lecturer in MIT’s graduate program in science writing and author of “The Panic Virus” To hear what he had to say, watch the video:

Video Transcript:

JENNY MCCARTHY: Evan was diagnosed with autism in 2005. Without a doubt in my mind, I believe vaccinations triggered Evan’s autism.

SETH MNOOKIN: Vaccines do not cause autism.

CARA SANTA MARIA: Hi everyone, Cara Santa Maria here. And that’s Seth Mnookin. He’s a lecturer in MIT’s graduate program in science writing and the author of “The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy.” I asked Seth to chat with me about why this is still a controversial subject, even though there’s not a shred of legitimate evidence linking vaccines with autism. First, we talked about Andrew Wakefield, author of the infamous 1998 paper published in The Lancet, which described 12 children who showed symptoms of autism sometime after receiving a vaccine to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella infection.

SM: It was an atrocious paper, it was called, almost the minute it was published, the worst paper The Lancet has ever published. And we’ve since learned a lot of things that were wrong that we didn’t even know at the time in 1998, like the fact that Wakefield was receiving research money from a law firm that was working with parents who were interested in suing vaccine manufacturers, like the fact that Wakefield had taken out a patent for an alternative measles vaccine several months before the paper was published. But what I think is kind of interesting is, forget all of that, it’s insane to make population-wide conclusions on a 12-person case series. And you know sometimes if I’m talking to a group of people and this comes up, I’ll count off 12 people and say, ‘and based on that case series I’m going to go ahead and conclude that population is 90 percent female or everyone is over the age of 50,’ or whatever.

CSM: The media played a large role in spreading misinformation about vaccines and autism following the publication of Wakefield’s study. Although The Lancet officially retracted the paper in 2010, the controversy still persists to this day. In fact, just last year, 21.4 percent of respondents in the Thomson-Reuters NPR Health Poll said they believe that vaccines can cause autism. It doesn’t help that well-known figures like Jenny McCarthy continue to spread anti-vaccine rhetoric. There’s even a website called JennyMcCarthyBodyCount.com. It claims that even though she’s not directly responsible for the thousands of preventable illnesses and hundreds of preventable deaths since 2007, if her campaign against vaccination caused even one preventable death, that’s one too many.

SM: Once you introduce misinformation into a society, it then lives on its own. And, it’s, as we’ve seen with vaccines, it’s impossible to unscare someone. Once an idea is planted in your mind, especially about your children, you can’t just then sort of wipe the board clean, ‘oh it turns out that actually ignore everything we were saying.’

CSM: But we have to learn to wipe the board clean, because there’s no scientific evidence linking vaccines with autism. None. If I left dinner last night and it started to rain, would I avoid that restaurant in the future, fearing that every time I ate there, it would influence the weather? Of course not! Autism symptoms commonly appear in children soon after they’re old enough to get vaccinated. This doesn’t mean they’re connected. And those who refuse to see this may be less likely to vaccinate their own children, putting them at risk of infection. And if their kids don’t get sick, sometimes they see this as proof positive that vaccines aren’t necessary. But what they don’t know is that the reason their kids aren’t getting sick is because all the kids around them are vaccinated. It’s called herd immunity, but it’s only so effective.

SM: I compared it once to like a herd of buffalo, kind of encircling their weakest members to ensure that they don’t get picked off by predators. So when you have enough members of a population protected or who have immunity against a given disease, that disease can’t get a toehold in the community. So you know take measles, which has a 90 percent infection rate, and if you were in a community where there was 95 percent immunity and then you had a traveler from Africa or Europe come over infected with measles, there would be a good chance that you could contain that because it’s going to be hard for measles to spread from person to person because there just aren’t those vectors.

JM: Take a look around. I believe science was wrong yet again. [cheering]

CSM: Do you know someone who still sees a link between vaccines and autism, even though no link exists? Reach out to me on Twitter, Facebook, or leave your comments … on The Huffington Post. Come on, Talk Nerdy To Me!

[END]
via The Huffington Post

British Psychic TV Channels Fined For Not Telling Viewers It’s All B.S.

By via The Huffington Post

Why don't you remember this headline?

Why don’t you remember this headline?

In a move no one saw coming, A British TV channel set up to offer dial-up psychic services has been fined for not telling viewers it’s all “for entertainment purposes only.”

Psychic Today, a 24-hour psychic network, was fined the equivalent of $19,079 U.S. for claiming on-air that its psychics could provide “accurate and precise” readings for callers, for offering anecdotal stories of successful predictions, and for making claims that presenters had helped solve crimes for the police, according to the Register.

Another TV channel, an interactive quiz channel called The Big Deal, was fined the equivalent of $15,262 for advertising psychic services.

The fines were laid down by Ofcom, an independent regulator of the British communications industry that has strict rules about how psychics can label their skills.

psychic_200pxIn one case, a psychic told viewers she was involved in the police investigation regarding the death of teenager named Milly Dowler, while another claimed she once accurately predicted that her friend would become friends with Michael Jackson.

Majestic TV, which holds the license for Psychic Today, told Ofcom that while the claims made in both cases were “factually correct,” the reference to Dowler was “unfortunate,” SkyNews reported.

According to a document the organization released in December 2011, anyone claiming to be in touch with a spirit guide or a dead person must qualify their powers by saying it’s “for entertainment purposes,” a phrase that must also be stated by the presenters and scrolled on screen.

Psychics are also prevented from predicting the future, offering life-changing advice, talking to the dead or even claiming to be accurate, the Register reported.

MORE . . .

Also see: Telly psychics fail to foresee £12k fine for peddling nonsense • The Register (UK).

psychic-john-edward-2012-events_02

Ghost Caught on Video

I am not a believer, but this video has me intrigued. Listen carefully for the light tapping sound right after the cat walks across the open doorway.

What do you think this is? Leave your answer in the comments section. 🙂

Ghost Caught on Video – YouTube

P.S. What is the date of this post?

Conspiracy Theorists Claim Obama Secret Service Agent Is an ‘Alien Shape-Shifter’

This is some of the funniest stuff i’ve seen and heard in a long time. The last video at the bottom is the best, the seriousness of the narrator just had me rolling on the floor! Who says this kind of stuff with a straight face?

Grab the popcorn and enjoy! 🙂

via TheBlaze.com

Shape-Shifter Secret Service Agent

Shape-Shifting Secret Service Agent

Why is a video of President Barack Obama’s speech at the 2012 American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference being aired now, a year later? Well, someone has actually scoured the Internet and found footage claiming it to be evidence that a member of his Secret Service detail is an alien shape-shifter.

No, we’re not making this up.

Several blogs have been reporting about the video over the last few days. It appears that the hoopla over it might have started because of a segment from Obama’s speech was re-aired in February by Jewish News One. It was in this footage that the agent in question appears to have been spotted.

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

Here’s the footage (Note: the agent appears in the crowd at 0:37):

Here’s footage from the speech showing the Secret Service agent from another angle:

Since discussion about these videos began percolating this year, compilation videos of the speech have been cropping up on YouTube as well.

[…]

Check out this video complete with a voice-over that speculates perhaps his “shape-shifting device failed during Obama’s speech” or that he could be an Illuminati member or a reptilian humanoid:

One blogger, who noted that they first found out about this information from this extraterrestrials forum, pointed out that not all “reptoidsshould be considered evil. The blogger continued that because Obama is the “one chosen to lead us through the dark and into the Light of Ascension” and due to the death threats made against him and his family, “it’s probable that he has a bodyguard who is not human.”

How serious are these claims?

MORE . . . .

M.I.T. Computer Program Reveals Invisible Motion in Video (Geek Alert!)

Pure Geek-O-Rama!!!

Finding the Visible in the Invisible: A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a computer program that reveals colors and motions in video that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

M.I.T. Computer Program Reveals Invisible Motion in Video – YouTube.

Also See: Eulerian Video Magnification for Revealing Subtle Changes in the World (MIT) (WARNING: Mega Geek Content)

Sacramento ‘UFO Explosion’ Mystery Revealed

By Lee Speigel via The Huffington Post

The explanation for what many people thought was an exploding UFO above Sacramento is no longer a mystery — it was a weather balloon.

After HuffPost reported how Elijah Prychodzko videotaped a circular, bright aerial object through his telescope over Sacramento on Dec. 20, 2012, the volume of explanations began rolling in for the possible identity of the object.

Those included alien spacecraft, military weapons test, a runaway planet, Doomsday rock headed to Earth and shot down by the Air Force, North Korea’s satellite, and, even, a hoax.

This exploding weather balloon over Tampa Bay, Fla., was recorded on July 2, 2012. It looks nearly identical to the object that exploded over Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2012.

This exploding weather balloon over Tampa Bay, Fla., was recorded on July 2, 2012. It looks nearly identical to the object that exploded over Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2012 (below).

If the images above and below look similar, it’s because they both show the same type of event as seen through telescopes — the difference being that the picture above was taken over Tampa Bay, Fla., on July 2, 2012, and the one below was the object photographed over Sacramento on Dec. 20.

o-SACRAMENTOUFO-570

This object exploded over Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2012.

Many readers speculated that what Prychodzko captured on video was a weather balloon and not something that occurred in deep space.

“Obviously, something of this magnitude (planetary-size space explosion) would have been noticed by government (NASA) and or professional astronomers along with a host of amateur astronomers,” 40-year veteran UFO researcher Frank Warren told HuffPost in an email.

Warren, editor and publisher of The UFO Chronicles website, did a follow-up investigation of the Sacramento video and concluded the object was clearly terrestrial in origin.

“After reviewing several videos of ‘weather balloons bursting’ at altitude, it leaves no question as to what the image in the Prychodzko video really is. Like any case we dig into, one either finds ancillary evidence in support of a claim, none, or just the opposite. This one fell apart rather quickly — research 101.”

In videos of weather balloon explosions — which can be found on the Internet — it looks like something is “orbiting” the main balloon, when, in fact, it’s an instrument package called a radiosonde that swings under the balloon, giving the appearance of being in orbit around the balloon. As the balloon rises, the decreased air pressure causes it to expand until it eventually bursts.

According to NBC News.com . . . MORE . . .

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