Men Are From Mars… Politicians Are From the Landfill

If you were to tell me breathlessly that you had acquired knowledge of a dark conspiracy based upon the latest segment of Ancient Aliens, I would probably nod and attempt to patch another topic seamlessly into the conversation.  I would almost certainly not say, “Tell me more.”  Let’s face it: the prime objective of a long-running television serial is to run yet longer.  Some very suspicious activity once occurred over Roswell, at Rendlesham Forest, over the Phoenix area… such incidents might suffice to fuel one good season of an objective documentary.  By the time we’re talking about lizard-men appearing from cracks in the earth, however, or the Ananachi instructing Gilgamesh to subdue Humbaba… well, by the way, did you happen to know that honey is very high in antioxidant?  I just found that out….

If I were Mike Bara, I would feel somewhat conflicted about being featured regularly on this quasi-scientific, conspiracy-rich series, especially when my spots are wedges between images of guys with cryptic talismans dangling from their wide-open shirts and strange gardens growing on their crowns where hair should be.  Yet the gig certainly sells books and promotes celebrity.  The cover of Bara’s Ancient Aliens on Mars (2013) does little to reassure us that its contents will abstain from sensationalism; and the title, for that matter, seems hapless to me, in that it directly taps into the TV serial while ineptly designating its subject.  For a Martian would not be an alien unless he left Mars—and Mars remains the exclusive focus of Bara’s little work, not Martian immigration to ancient Peru or Anatolia.  The book, let’s admit, has “popular” objectives.  It’s written to make money.

At the same time, when the academic community shuts you out, you don’t necessarily have a lot of options left—and the popular one effectively broadcasts the word that the academic game is rigged while also earning you (hopefully) the wherewithal to carry the struggle forward.  Did Bara, then, simply make up the incident involving JPL’s bizarre and high-handed reddening of the Viking I photos so as to make the planet appear utterly desolate and… well, alien?  I know that he didn’t invent NASA’s curious dismissal of Gil Levin’s positive test for life in Martian soil during that mission—a test that ran like clockwork and then, by official decree, was essentially ruled a waste of millions of dollars.

Is Bara writing fiction when he chronicles our government’s paying for Michael Malin’s camera to be included on the Observer mission—and then declaring that Malin, as a private entity, had exclusive rights to any resultant photos for six months?  Does Bara merely imagine NASA’s resistance to photographing certain Martian regions previously suspected of retaining relics of clearly artificial (i.e., not natural) structures throughout this and the Pathfinder mission?  It isn’t just Bara, is it, who recalls that the open-bidding protocol was cavalierly subverted in awarding Malin’s now-outdated instrument the contract for riding aboard the Mars Global Surveyor?

I do but graze the surface—and Bara’s “popular” account of these outrageously manipulated engineering decisions and suppressed or doctored “revelations” is itself condensed to a particle of the complete explanation.  A skeptic might respond that I have so far ignored the book’s most “embarrassing” part: the discussion of the infamous “face” said to occupy several square kilometers on the Martian surface.  He-he, ha-ha!  Who could possibly… why, the very idea!  A rock formation acquires a certain look at a certain time of day as shadows fall in a certain pattern—and voila!  We have a human-like face!  So very droll!

Okay.  But why would NASA not take better shots of the region to resolve the issue?  The claim was made that such a flyover indeed occurred and that such a shot was indeed taken… except that, years later, NASA was forced to admit that it had no such debunking photo.  And the “face” region was one of many where images were demonstrably tempered with during subsequent missions.  It must also be emphasized by those whose math skills far exceed my own that the “face compound” (for the immediate region is prolific with artificial-seeming structures) repeatedly encodes certain geometric relationships independent of cultural conditioning, just as a radio transmission from a dark quadrant of the sky that reprised a theme from Peter and the Wolf could not merely be a neutron star’s chatter.

I know that these notions are a tough sell.  Years ago, I published an uncensored Martian photo in my online journal that showed what was indisputably a tooled, artificial object, full of intricate and rigidly aligned holes, rings, and corners.  Several of my academic readers sniffed that my parody was indeed rare, but needed more seasoning: I almost sounded as though I were serious!

Cases like these have two forces working strongly against them.  One is (as just intimated) the ever-active anxiety in “educated” people that perhaps they are being duped.  “No, no… you can’t fool me!  Not today—not with that one!”  The very lapse of the word “conspiracy” into ignominy, as if no intricate, chess-like suckering ever happened in the real world, is evidence of how easily we can be hoodwinked in our fear of being hoodwinked.

Hence the second force: the “science” of disinformation, as pioneered by the Soviets and now mastered in our own society.  Nothing more discredits a reality that you wish to keep secret than going fully public with it in a ridiculously hyperbolic manner.  “Sure, I had an affair with that woman!  Why, I must have had fifty affairs in that one week!  Half the electorate of Nevada consists of my sons and daughters!”  Ha-ha, he-he.

I don’t sincerely belief that Ancient Aliens, the TV serial, has been intended by its producers to grind out such background interference; yet its constant quest for yet one more season has that effect, and the effect is no doubt viewed with satisfaction by certain artists of disguise on the public payroll.

Because of Bara’s book and a mass of other evidence (a little of it gathered in private conversation with reliable sources), I preserve no doubt of any kind that our government has lied to us for years about issues related to the so-called Space Program.  My question, as a citizen rather than a professional technician or academic researcher, is why.  One lies for a reason: one lies for personal advantage.  Who is deriving an advantage from concealing details—no, more than details: essential information—about the course and nature of intelligent life in our solar system?  What sort of advantage might this be?  When would the trump card be played?  Will the rest of us be left sprawling in the dust on that day as mere dupes… or are we an intended sacrifice of proportions exceeding the Stalinesque?

I hate living in a society whose leadership I no longer trust a penny’s worth about anything.  It’s exhausting; it’s infuriating.  I want to deliver this message to my “representatives” and to their “academic expert” lackeys everywhere, without geometric coding: “You sorry bastards.  If wind turbines are safe, then you go live under one.  If the Rare Earth Elements on solar panels are clean, then put your family downstream from one.  If the rich need to pay 90 percent of their income to create a world where energy carries ten times the price tag, then you start by liquidating 90 percent of your gross assets and divesting yourself of all energy-related investments.  If universal public health care is such a great idea, than sign yourself and your family up for it.  If the war against Islamic extremism must be fought in perpetuity halfway around the world, then be sure that your son enlists to fight it.”

Could it be, on the contrary, that our “leaders” enjoy an entirely off-the-grid, off-the-books, off-budget parallel reality of bunkered paradise, engineered with unimaginable sophistication, that awaits them whenever the red button is pushed?  “Could it be….?”  Yeah, now I sound like the narrator of Ancient Aliens; but when you know you’re being lied to, persistently and with design, the mind runs wild.

Could it be that we will learn more truth about our solar system from Putin or the Chinese than from NASA?

Utopian-Fantasist Obtuseness: The UFO Crowd’s Strange Flirtation With the Left

I was commenting the other day (okay, I was tweeting: my son says it’s the only low-budget way to find an audience) about the premier episode of Ancient Aliens’ new season that aired on April 22.  It was dismaying that several regular commentators, like journalist Linda Moulton-Howe, were all but jumping into the tank for Hillary at the end of the episode.  If elected (went the narrative), Hillary would have gotten to the bottom of all the UFO secrecy; she would have demanded transparency of the Defense Department; she would have fired anyone who refused to pony up with complete disclosures, etc., etc.  Now, I can vividly imagine Hillary conducting bureaucratic purges: that would have happened even without the UFO issue.  I can also imagine her riding roughshod over sensitive security matters because she felt like it.  She has what they call a “proven track record” in that regard.  What I cannot imagine is her pressing a point from which Bill had previously backed off.  The Clinton who successfully pursued the presidency once confessed candidly (if semi-confidentially) to one of his buddies in the press that poking about the UFO issue could be very bad for his health.  He represented the response given to him by nameless career insiders as practically a threat on his life.

It has been said that Hillary knows a thing or two about silencing inconvenient witnesses.  Whatever the truth of that, she most certainly would have known about the ominous wall of men in black that had terminated her husband’s country-fried snooping.  Hillary was playing the UFO-truther crowd for an easy endorsement.  John Podesta, no doubt, was playing Ancient Aliens for a bit of public exposure readily parlayed into speaking honoraria (for who remembers John Podesta these days?)… but Moulton-Howe should have known better.

Why didn’t she?  Why, indeed, does UFO-mania tend to lean so far leftward?  It shouldn’t, if a recurring theme is the abusive secrecy of big government.  Apparently, centralized authority is evil when it’s in the hands of the military-industrial complex; but when Tinker Bell utopians are promising to sprinkle stardust over every aspect of our private lives, the faintest libertarian tinge of resistance is abandoned.  Bestowing dictatorial powers upon a Beloved Leader so that he—or she—may cashier all the would-be dictators in uniform makes perfect sense to the Left.

But why, I repeat, do alien enthusiasts lean left?  I myself am pretty sure that our planet has been visited by extra-terrestrials—and that hasn’t made me want to book a flight to Cloudcuckooland.  In some members of this group, perhaps many or most, I perceive a disturbing tendency to cultic religion.  Everything in every ancient literary text is potentially a sign of “extra-terrestrial visitation”.  Zeus’s thunderbolt can’t be a sublime image coined out of primitive reverence for natural forces: it has to be an advanced technology that Stone Age minds didn’t comprehend.  Our history is also of no interest except as a reservoir of clues about ET activity.  How did the bubonic plague come to spread so rapidly and wipe out so many populations?  Must have been a bid on the part of hostile aliens to thin out our numbers.

This sort of thing reminds me for all the world of the m.o. I’ve seen working in academic feminism and Marxism for decades.  Are you given a novel to read from a few centuries ago?  Look for the woman or the peasant: there’s nothing else worth paying attention to.  If you can’t find either one… well, why are they being excluded?  Must be a conspiracy!  Are you presented with a historical period to study?  What’s going on with women at this time, or with the underclass?  Not much information on that?  Well, there wouldn’t be, would there?  Males and the upper classes have sought to airbrush all those significant details from the record for millennia.

Ultimately, the driving force behind such cultism is the adoration of progress.  A better tomorrow for women, for the poor… a better future for Earthlings once they are told by aliens where their destiny lies.  All of it shares a boredom, and indeed a disgust, with the present and an indifference to the past except insofar as years past and present supply steps to the ascending staircase.  The faithful of these cults seem tormented by a distaste for the contemporary world and for human nature generally: they crave a transformative experience, an orgastic Nirvana that will mystically show forth as a photographic negative of hateful realities.  They so long for Scottie to beam them up!

Alas, not only does such delirium not draw us any closer to the truth behind UFO’s: it discredits serious attempts to find that truth by tarring all sincere investigators with the stick of childish fantasy.  We may be moving farther from the truth than ever.

Why Does Language Only Degenerate?

Among other things I’m doing to wear myself out and drive myself crazy during summer “vacation” is the complete overhaul of an introductory textbook that presents Latin and classical Greek together. Every time I muck about in an ancient language, I’m struck by how much of the system has already been lost when things start being recorded. It’s very odd. We all picture to ourselves, in our arrogantly progressive mindset, a bunch of cavemen slowly stringing words together and discovering the fine points of grammar. “Me see mammoth,” works its way at a glacial pace to, “I see mammoth”… and then to, “I saw a mammoth,” and so on.

But that’s not what the written record shows. Rather, by the time things are committed to stone or clay or parchment, case endings are already in full collapse. Latin must have had a distinct vocative (for calling out a person’s name) and a distinct locative (for identifying where something happens) among its other noun endings; for we see relics of both cases, and Sanskrit has in fact preserved both in much better repair. A lot of other endings, however, probably disappeared entirely. Accompaniment and manner are both expressed in the ablative (“with great praise” and “with a friend”), though they likely had separate spellings at some point in the distant past. Prepositions were born, in fact, as case endings were misremembered to the point that many started to sound alike. Most Latin endings, indeed, are almost identical with dative endings, and in Greek the ablative and dative had fused seamlessly. These languages were in full meltdown already as the first millennium before Christ began.

I’m just throwing this out there: something was going on about four or five thousand years ago whose magnitude we haven’t begun to suspect–something on the order of a cultural awakening, a global burst of inspiration and genius. The wild-eyed types who chatter away on Ancient Aliens will point to the Pyramids, Stonehenge, complex structures newly unearthed in southeastern Turkey, Mayan and Incan construction… and the question is always, “Could this intricate creation be the work of extraterrestrial visitors? Ancient alien theorists say ‘yes’!”

Well, in a way, that’s just playing the same progressive game: i.e., primitive humans were so stupid that they couldn’t have devised such wonders on their own. I’m not dismissing the ET explanation out of hand, because these matters are so mysterious that any sufficient answer has to be mind-blowing. But did a benign ET also give us the elaborate linguistic structures which proceeded to decay in our inept and lazy custody over the next few millennia? Or were we ourselves brilliant at one time, perhaps when we lived for the better part of two centuries like biblical patriarchs… and then we began to fall apart?

At the very least, there’s plenty enough mystery in human history to teach us more respect for pre-history than we commonly display–and to alert us, as well, that we’re very capable of great leaps backward as well as forward.